Dec 9, 2020
If COVID-19 was good for anything, it’s for reading. When the March rain and quarantine came, I got the chance to read all the books I wanted. This book list centers around Los Angeles and overlaps with creative nonfiction, poetry, urbanism, California history, music, and cultural studies.
Most of these books came out in 2020, but a few came out at the very end of 2019. What follows are 32 books in alphabetical order by author—for the 32 years, it’s been since the Dodgers last won the World Series.
My Name is Romero By David A. Romero
Gustavo Arellano calls David A. Romero “a vibrant Southern California writer,” and he’s right. For the last 15 years, Romero has pounded the pavement from San Diego to Santa Barbara, shouting poems grappling with history, identity, etymology, and politics. This new collection contains many of his best-known poems, along with stories from his grandfather. Romero presents an alternative history of the Southwest and writes raw open letters to Donald Trump, Katt Williams, and Edward James Olmos. Above all, he states: “Remember those who have come before / those we know / and those lost to history.”